Google I/O 2024: 5 Gemini features that would pull me away from Copilot

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Again in late 2022, the in a single day success of ChatGPT energized Google to launch a chatbot simply 4 months later. Gemini, named Bard on the time, has had a tumultuous journey since then, present process numerous upgrades and a complete rebrand.

Regardless of all the big language mannequin (LLM) upgrades, from LaMDA to PaLM 2 to Gemini Professional, Google’s chatbot has failed to attain the recognition of its rivals. With the corporate’s annual developer occasion, Google I/O, only a weekend away, we will anticipate Google to roll out Gemini updates to make the chatbot extra interesting to the general public.

After monitoring the evolution of Gemini since its launch and testing many different generative AI chatbots, I’ve rounded up a few of the options Google may convey to Gemini to considerably enhance the consumer expertise, making the device a extra worthy chatbot competitor, and a possible substitute for my present AI default, Copilot.

1. A extra immersive Gemini expertise on iOS 

The primary and most evident win could be for Google to make Gemini extra attractive for iOS customers. Since its rebrand in February, Google has been positioning Gemini as an AI assistant able to going past what an extraordinary chatbot can do — and with Android telephones, it has finished simply that.

By downloading the Gemini app, Android customers can benefit from some neat integrations, reminiscent of accessing Gemini wherever they might commonly use their Google Assistant, activating an overlay expertise that tells Gemini what’s on their display, and even accessing Google Assistant voice options, reminiscent of setting a timer on their cellphone.

iOS customers, nonetheless, cannot obtain a devoted Gemini app; entry to the chatbot is restricted to the Google app. This can be a big missed alternative provided that many Apple customers have Google as their default search engine. They might profit from experimenting with Gemini as an assistant, particularly with out an Apple AI chatbot native to the iOS expertise.

Microsoft Copilot is an efficient instance of what Google could possibly be doing with Gemini. The Copilot app at present ranks #22 within the App Retailer’s Productiveness class. If Google desires to market Gemini as an on a regular basis AI assistant, iOS customers ought to get a standalone app.

2. Automated footnotes 

When you ask Gemini a query, the chatbot will reply with out footnotes or supply hyperlinks. So as to confirm the accuracy and validity of its solutions, Gemini gives a helpful “double-check with Google” function. The function reveals customers the place elements of the solutions are sourced from. This further step, nonetheless, requires an additional refresh, which may interrupt the consumer’s workflow.

Moreover, while you click on the “double-check with Google” button, Gemini does not listing all of the sources. For elements of the response, the chatbot may say that Google Search did not discover related content material (see the screenshot beneath). This response undermines the reliability of the solutions and provides an additional layer of doubt when utilizing the chatbot.

Considered one of Gemini’s benefits is that, not like ChatGPT, it’s linked to the web. Google ought to capitalize on this performance and create options to construct belief with its viewers, together with clickable footnotes to supply content material with out an additional step, a function that Copilot already gives.

3. Doc uploads 

Gemini is already multimodal and helps the enter of voice and picture prompts along with textual content. As useful as these two options are, the flexibility to import paperwork may assist take the chatbot to the following stage. Including this function would unlock a brand new suite of prospects.

Anthropic’s Claude, for instance, lets customers import paperwork without spending a dime. This functionality is without doubt one of the chatbot’s greatest benefits as a result of it permits customers to work with supplies they work together with every day.

Whether or not you need a analysis paper summarized, a wordy contract defined, or have questions on a PDF you are utilizing, AI chatbots with document-reading capabilities may help.

Including this function would additionally give Gemini a aggressive benefit over its greatest rival, ChatGPT, which solely gives doc importing within the premium model of its chatbot, ChatGPT Plus, which prices $20 monthly. 

4. Improved privateness controls

Customers obtain an ominous message after they open Gemini: “Your conversations are processed by human reviewers to enhance the applied sciences powering Gemini Apps. Do not enter something you would not need reviewed or used.”

Once you click on to study extra in regards to the message, Gemini says: “If you don’t need future conversations reviewed or used to enhance machine studying fashions, flip off Gemini Apps Exercise.”

But while you go to that new window, you obtain a contradicting message: “Your chats are saved in your account for as much as 72 hours, whether or not Gemini Apps Exercise is on or off. Google makes use of this knowledge to offer the service, keep its security and safety, and course of any suggestions you select to offer.”

So, it looks as if Google will save your chats and proceed to assessment them till the 72-hour mark. Whereas it’s true that generative AI fashions get smarter by studying from consumer inputs, many AI chatbots enable customers to choose out of that function fully, having no chats saved in any respect.

For instance, since April 2023, OpenAI has let customers choose out of getting ChatGPT use their knowledge to coach its fashions or save chats. Simply this week, OpenAI up to date ChatGPT’s knowledge controls even additional by including a Short-term Chat choice for customers who would favor to not have their chats saved to their chat historical past even when the mannequin enchancment is turned off.

Generative AI customers are sometimes extra conscious of their knowledge privateness as a result of they do not need their info utilized in future solutions or shared with others. To encourage extra use of its chatbot, Google ought to deal with privateness issues and add a clearer and all-encompassing opt-out choice.

5. Focus extra on Gemini than on forcing SGE 

As I discussed at first of this text, Google has been attempting lengthy and exhausting to popularize its AI fashions. Because of this, the tech large has applied a few of its generative AI choices in its hottest product, its search engine, by way of the Search Generative Expertise (SGE). 

With SGE, customers get an AI-generated reply to their search engine immediate on the prime of search outcomes. That is meant to offer fast, useful, conversational solutions that require much less scrolling. Nonetheless, public suggestions suggests the expertise is complicated and aggravating. Customers discover that SGE disrupts the common search stream.

When Google first introduced SGE, it was accessible by way of Google’s Search Labs, the place customers must choose in to make use of the function. Since then, nonetheless, many customers have reported seeing SGE seem of their search outcomes even when they hadn’t opted in.

In March 2024, Google confirmed through a press release to Search Engine Land {that a} “subset of queries, on a small proportion of search visitors within the US” would get SGE. This pressured publicity is leaving customers with a unfavourable opinion of Google’s AI tech.

The answer right here is straightforward. Google ought to concentrate on making its generative AI choices, like Gemini, extra attractive to customers, so that they wish to take part, somewhat than forcing its AI options into a preferred product, like Google Search.

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